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H-1B bill seeks to 'staple' green cards to PhDs

Tuesday, 07 April 2009, 20:48 Hrs   |    6 Comments
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Washington: A new bill has been introduced in the U.S. Congress to exempt foreign graduates of U.S. PhD programs from counting towards a cap on H-1B visas and give them 'green cards' or permanent residency directly.

Jeff Flake, Republican member of the House of Representatives, last week introduced what he calls the Stopping Trained in America PhDs From Leaving the Economy Act of 2009 (HR 1791) to stem a reverse brain drain of highly skilled immigrants, mainly from India and China, due to the economic downturn.

By design, the bill's acronym, STAPLE, represents the stapling of science, technology, engineering and mathematics PhD degrees onto green cards, granting their holders permanent residency.

Foreign students make up a substantial portion of U.S. doctoral graduates with a large majority of them coming from India and China. According to a survey conducted by the Computing Research Association, foreign students received 55.5 percent of the 1,597 computer science doctoral degrees awarded in the last academic year.

There have been a number of efforts to increase the H-1B visa cap apart from a comprehensive immigration reform push. But supporters of an overhaul of the immigration system have managed to stymie such efforts to get Congress to separately consider changes to the H-1B program.
Source: IANS
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Reader's comments(6)
1: PHD is good.. it is a prominent qualification.. but making it mandatory for green card is simply ridiculous.. there would be many who may be able to go for such phds due to many issues.. so don\'t they deserve to obtain a green card? what has happened to the U.S. lawmakers?
Posted by:karan - 07 Apr, 2009
2:
The bill proposes to ease it up for STEM PhD holders to get Permanent Residency. It is a way of separating out truly qualified PhDs from rest of H1b applicants.

It does not make PhD a requirement for all green cards.

it is a very meaningful and judiciously targeted bill. Hope it garners enough support in both houses.
Yogi Replied to: karan - 07 Apr, 2009
3:
ya keep your fingers crossed, there are numbers of Democrat Senators and Congressmans to kill this bill.
Minesh Replied to: Yogi - 08 Apr, 2009
4:
Yogi - hi, you are right. Since seven years, Bill Gates introduced the idea "Staple Green Cards to graduating PhD's". His media interview with Charlie Rose says it loud and straight. Stapple the green card with the Phd Degree when the student graduates from US University.

Later Google Inc CEO uttered the same, later may joined the voice, finally we see some light. The total receipients for this will hardly 500 to 2000 per year all over USA, which is a much much smaller ammount of GC's compared to hundred thousands for waiting in line personnel.

It is important to see if CHina and India oppose such a bill, as they too need these Phd's back home as they are growing like hell.
Nirmal Shah Replied to: Yogi - 08 Apr, 2009
5:
This doesn't say no Green cards to MS students.They can still apply Via the H1b route.Yes phd's deserve this They are a creamy layer .Love to see the bill coming through
Rekha Replied to: Nirmal Shah - 10 Apr, 2009
6:
I m not really sure whats going to happen in future.. Seeing the economic condition, chances are fair but Obama reiterates that US citizens will be taken care off first re. jobs and stuff. GC at this stage may hinder their plan.
just keeping fingers crossed.
Amit Replied to: Rekha - 22 Apr, 2009
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